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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

The chronicles of audio leaks in Pakistan

Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has ordered the formation of a committee to investigate the leaking of several audio files released over the past week and a review of cybersecurity at the prime minister’s office (PMO). Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah will lead the committee, according to a statement released after the meeting.

Imran Khan was dismissed as Pakistan prime minister after losing a no-confidence vote in parliament following weeks of political turmoil. It was not immediately clear when a new premier will be chosen, but Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) chief Shehbaz Sharif was almost certain to be picked to lead the nuclear-armed nation of 220 million people.

No prime mister has ever served a full term in Pakistan, but Khan is the first to lose office this way.

Acting speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq said 174 lawmakers had voted in favor of the motion, “consequently the vote of no confidence has passed”.

Overseas Pakistani and the people living in Pakistan showed firm resistance, and started to protest against “Regime change”. Power shows of protesters are still the same for their leader Imran Khan from the day he was ousted till today but all of this was ignored by mainstream media, local channels and digital media.

Read more: Pakistan Politics: Race to the bottom

Government exploits state agencies against political opponents

The government is using different software to protect its data. The spyware enables governments to secretly record audio using a phone’s built-in microphone and camera. The current government or the ruling government always uses the power of state machinery against political opponents.

The hacker leaked audio on Friday. According to the information he has given on the dark web, he has no intentions to get fame or PR, he has demanded no money, in fact, according to him he is doing it for the betterment of the state. Audio leaks, especially from the prime minister’s house, are something that is linked to the national security of Pakistan. Security agencies should look into the matter before foreign countries exploit this matter and breach Pakistan’s security and sovereignty. Cyber security in Pakistan was not up to the mark as per our strategic planning.

The dilemma of Audio leaks

Pakistani media reported on a purported audio clip of Bushra Bibi in which she can be heard instructing the social media wing of Imran Khan’s party. It was between Bushra Bibi and Dr. Arsalan Khalid, president of PTI on digital media. She was heard instructing to create a narrative against the dissidents or the party by linking them to foreign conspiracies against Imran khan. After this, a recording of a conversation between real estate tycoon Malik Riaz and his Daughter Amber Riaz was leaked in which they were discussing how former First lady Bushra Bibi sought a five-carat diamond ring instead of a three-carat allegedly offered to her, which cost about RS 10 million.

Meanwhile, one more conversation leak took place between Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) leader and former minister Shaukat Tarin with Punjab finance Minister Mohsin Leghari asking to withdraw from the International Monetary Funds IMF deal. Shaukat Tarin allegedly was found instructing the Punjab finance Minister that now “you have to say that the province has to spend a lot of money for the rehabilitation of flood-affects and the earlier commitment of IMF cannot be fulfilled. PTI chairman alleges PM Shahbaz was involved in the audio leak.

Read more: Senate Elections – Welcome to Pakistan Politics!

A question that arises is if the current government has done this, then who is involved in the leaks of Maryam Nawaz, daughter of former Prime Minister Nawaz Shareef and niece of Shahbaz Shareef? In audio leaks, she was heard saying, “Health card must be discontinued”.

The Pegasus and Pakistan

To see the light of the day soon as multiple Twitter accounts claim to be the hacker. One anonymous account “Indi shell” has been exclusively covering these hacks, has been running anti-government tweets and tweeted that more clips will be released.

One more Spy software created by Israel is named the “Pegasus” diplomatic bargaining chip. India bought Israeli Pegasus spyware as part of a weapons deal.

Read more: Pakistan’s politics: A game or serious business?

Cyber experts said that the data of all governments and private websites that had been hacked during the last year and was available on the Dark web. You won’t find content or even discussion of these clips anywhere on news channels as the government has exclusively banned broadcasts of these, it’s the hacker that already told you he doesn’t need any popularity, or money but the betterment of the state?


The writer has MSc degree in Mass Communication from NUML Islamabad. The views expressed by the writers do not necessarily represent Global Village Space’s editorial policy.